Gay rights activist to challenge Hazel Blears
A gay rights activist and member of OutRage! has been selected to challenge Labour MP Hazel Blears for her Salford and Eccles constituency seat.
David Henry, 26, was selected by campaign group Hazel Must Go and will stand at the coming general election.
Local residents and left-wing groups set up the campaign to protest over Ms Blears’ role in the expenses scandal and alleged hypocrisy over hospital closures.
Ms Blears resigned from the cabinet in June but has said she will defend her seat at this spring’s general election.
The area has traditionally been seen as a Labour safe seat, although she suffered badly in the expenses scandal, having avoided paying £13,000 on capital gains tax. She later repaid the money.
Mr Henry is a member of the Green party and is co-chair of Salford Youth Council. But he is likely to be backed by a number of socialist coalition of trade unions, rather than standing as a Green candidate.
Last year, he tried to perform a citizen’s arrest on Ms Blears after her expenses were revealed.
Another gay candidate will also be standing for the Salford and Eccles seat. Conservative Matt Sephton, who is chair of the party’s affiliated group LGBTory, works as a primary school teacher in Stockport.
Both men have been attacked by an independent candidate, Richard Carvath.
Mr Carvath wrote on his blog that he felt the area’s constituents would not want to be represented by a “homosexual pervert” and said of Mr Henry that he was an “anarchist homosexual pervert”.
Mr Carvath was warned by police to remove offensive comments about Mr Sehpton in December.
Edited: David Henry is 26, not 24 as this story previously said.